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The Importance of Discovery - A Cautionary Tale

The importance of the discovery phase in litigation cannot be understated.  It is the opportunity to learn not only about the other side's case but your own as well.  That information gives a litigant a much better foundation to consider potential risks associated with pursuing trial as well as the possible upside to settling earlier in the litigation process.  However, due to the costly and time consuming nature of the discovery process, parties may be tempted to cut corners or try to speed through it.  The outcome in this recent case shows that there can be very severe consequences for a party that fails to live up to their discovery obligations, and conducting a thorough document collection and review on the front end will likely save you time and money in the long run.  

A federal judge in D.C. granted a plaintiff’s motion for mistrial Feb. 3 in an age- and race-based discrimination case after the defense produced what the judge called “integral” evidence a week into trial.